RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: Black Ties and Lullabies by Jane Graves

B-

Title: Black Ties and Lullabies
Author: Jane Graves
Publication Info: Forever 2011
ISBN: 978-0446568470
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Black Ties and Lullabies This review was written by Tabs. This story was nominated in the Best Contemporary Single Title Romance category.

The summary:     

Bernadette Hogan doesn't make mistakes. Not when it comes to caring for her mother, and not at her job protecting Texas's most eligible–and infuriating–bachelor. Maybe that's why she's overcome with guilt after one tiny indiscretion: a passionate fling with her boss that's left her confused, intrigued…and pregnant.

To self-made millionaire Jeremy Bridges, women are like fine wine: if held for too long, they sour. But one wild night with Bernadette changed all that. She makes him laugh, she makes him think, and soon she's going to make him a father. For the first time, Jeremy wants to be a one-woman man.

So how can he convince the fiercely independent Bernadette he's ready to change from partying playboy to dependable dad–and become the loving husband she deserves?

And here is Tabs' review:

For me, the keyword for this story is “antagonism.”

Bernie and Jeremy antagonize the hell out of each other.  How their conflicts naturally transition from the exchanging of bitter cutting barbs to an eventual comfortable give-and-take with affectionate banter is really the backbone of the whole story.

From the middle on, I thought the antagonism worked great.  When Bernie and Jeremy engaged in a hilarious back-and-forth game of payback, I was thoroughly entertained.  In fact, I kept expecting one of them to fistbump the air and gleefully yell “Take that!!” after one would successfully one-up the other.

Unfortunately, I thought the beginning started out really rough with neither main character coming across in a good light.  Bernie comes across judgmental and bitchy and Jeremy comes across as a misogynistic jerkwad.   In particular, Jeremy’s ridiculous dismissal of Bernie's legitimate safety concerns as his bodyguard especially rubbed me the wrong way.

They are nasty and combative and dismissive of each other and it all builds to a boil until they have themselves some hate sex.

Ah, hate sex.  Baby-making hate sex.

After this point, the author softens both characters a great deal but I felt like she had started them too far to one extreme and brought them too far to the opposite to make the transition entirely believable.

Even given its flaws though, I have to say that I still really enjoyed myself while reading “Black Ties and Lullabies”.


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